Saturday, March 31, 2012

The Mini-Greenhouse

A couple of years ago, some strong straight-line winds damaged this storm door so that we could not use it as a door anymore.  I did not even know that Dan had saved it until he came up with this neat contraption.

It is a little greenhouse!  Dan was able to plant a few things in here quite early, when it was still cold.  The sun heated it up quite nicely (you can see a round thermometer in there). 

He attached a chain to the door handle and you can hook it onto the fence, if you want to leave the door raised.  It is quite clever and another great example of recycling.  Of course, it is also very thrifty!  Our ancestors who were farmers did this sort of thing all the time.  Waste not, want not.

Pictured above are the new baby crops of Kale, Swiss Chard, Cabbage, and Roma Tomatoes.  

Friday, March 30, 2012

Recycling Out In The Country

Dan's brother gave him an old combine tire, and he partially buried it in the ground so it would stand upright.

It sits near the clubhouse out in the big field and the kids love to play in and on it.

Recycling doesn't always have to be unexciting.  We gave an old tire new life!

Going horizontal.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Book Reviews: Left To Tell and Led By Faith

If you haven't yet read Left To Tell, by Immaculee Ilibagiza, you really should.  It is her true story of survival through the Rwandan genocide in 1994.  She survived by hiding with 7 or 8 other women in a 3 foot by 4 foot bathroom for several months.  Her entire family was brutally massacred, except for one brother who was out of the country at the time.  As riveting as her story of survival is, the more compelling part of the book is her story of forging a strong bond with God during her time in the bathroom.  For me, the biggest message of the book was one of hope and trust in God, even in the midst of horror.  It was a fascinating and meaningful read. 

I also recently read the sequel to Left To Tell, called Led By Faith.  This was another fascinating and compelling book, about Immaculee's life after the Rwandan massacre, and her complete trust and faith in God.  It was amazing to read of her multiple narrow escapes from death, and all the details of how she got from Rwanda to the USA were very interesting.  There were many "God-incidences."

Disclosure:  If you click on one of the book images and purchase something from Amazon, I will receive a small commission.

Book Review: Animals Marco Polo Saw

Catherine has been studying Asia the past couple of weeks, and this was one of the books she read:  Animals Marco Polo Saw: An Adventure On The Silk Road, by Sandra Markle.  It is a book from the Explorer Series.  I was impressed with it, and will look for more of this series.  There was a lot of information, but it was told as a story, so it was interesting, and there were extra tips on the side.  There are a lot of wonderful illustrations, generally on every other page, so the amount of print was not overwhelming.  There was also a map of Marco Polo's travels at the end, as well as a small glossary.

Disclosure:  If you click on the image of the book and follow the link to Amazon, making a purchase, I will receive a small commission.

Two Years Ago Yesterday

Two years ago yesterday, it looked like this outside:

We barely made it to the church for this:

But our little Anthony Joseph became a child of God on that snowy, icy day two years ago yesterday!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Anthony's Birthday

Since Anthony's birthday fell on a Friday in Lent, we decided to do most of the celebrating on Saturday.  However, on the morning of his birthday, Anthony got to open a gift:

A three-wheeled scooter!

I think he liked it.

We met Daddy during his lunch break to do the outdoor Stations of the Cross.

It was a beautiful day.

Anthony got in some Daddy time.

On Saturday, which was also St. Patrick's Day, we had corned beef and cabbage for lunch, followed by Anthony's football cake:
He loved his cake, and yes, it was easy to make!

Grinning for the camera.

He ate off all the white frosting first.

New toys for the sandbox.

Anthony had a very interested audience.

Anthony got to play with his new golf set.  Or as he says it, "Gof."

Nothing like new sandbox toys to get all the kids into the sandbox!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Two Years Old!

It is hard to believe, but Anthony is 2 years old today!  What a wild and delightful ride it has been so far!

Anthony likes to help in the kitchen.

Maybe a little too much sometimes!

And if left to his own devices, as he was for just a couple of minutes when I went to my room to get something, things like this can happen.

He is very active, loves to play outside, and has no fear when it comes to jumping off things nearly as high as himself.

He loves playing with his big brothers and sisters, unless he's mad at one of them, then watch out!

He loves, loves, loves to be outside with Daddy.

Anthony is talking more these days and he calls himself "Ant-nee." 

Within the past couple of months, Anthony has developed an interest in books and puzzles, and his attention span has greatly improved.  Which means that school time has gotten easier.  Of course, he also has developed an interest in markers, crayons, and pens, and writing on things, not always to our liking.  So when it gets too quiet around here, there is suddenly a moment of panic, and a "Where's Anthony?!"  He also likes to build things with the boys and has gotten good at putting Trios together.  And when they get out their superhero capes, he is right in there with them. 

Happy 2nd Birthday to our Anthony!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

We Had One Big Snow Day This Winter

Since we woke today to a layer of wintry mix on the ground today (after several days of highs in the upper 60s-low 70s!), I will post these pictures from Feb. 13, when we had our first (and only) "big" snow of the season.  It was close to 3 inches, so the kids were really excited to play in it.  It didn't last long, though, as much of it melted the next day.
Anthony, all bundled up and ready for some scooping.

Hey, Mom, look at what I've got!

Joseph prepared for some serious shovel action.

He made a pile in the middle of the driveway, which Daddy got to blast through with the truck when he came home.

Anne and Dominic made some snowballs.

I had a big snowball fight with the kids, which left us all laughing.  Here is Anne, ready to hit me with a huge one. 

Catherine made a little snow cave.

What fun to play in the snow!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Day Trip To Salina

In February, we met Dan's mom and two of his brothers in Salina.  We met at the famous Cozy Inn Hamburgers. 

Some of the kids and I in front of the Cozy Inn.

This place has been around for a long time.  Dan's father used to eat here while growing up in Salina.

Only two workers can fit in here to make the famous hamburgers.

Sitting at the counter, while our order is prepared.

See how small it is?  There are only six stools. 
 I did not get a picture of the actual burgers, as we were too busy eating. The kids loved them because they were little. You order them by the dozen.

After lunch, we all went over to the Salina Mall.

After walking through the mall, we got to the play area. 

Anthony had a great time, as did all the kids.

We finished off with a round of ice cream. 

We had a nice little trip, visiting with Grandma, Uncle Joe, and Uncle Chuck.  And Dan got his Cozy burgers.  (They were tasty!)